Cat and I

Doris Schwerin, Author
Doris Schwerin, Author HarperCollins Publishers $17.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-06-016274-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
This charming, often poignant memoir intertwines Schwerin's ( Diary of a Pigeon Watcher ) life with that of her beloved Miss Willow, a ``spirit enclosed in the form of a cat'' who was found, a stray, by her human caretaker in New York City's East Village. Huffs the feline, ``I was not descended from peasant village cats''; as an urbanite, she learned ``the hunger, the smells, the poverty of the lower depths,'' before Schwerin came to the rescue. The author deftly employs elements of the cat's often troubled autobiography (related in occasional chapters in the voice of the imperious Miss Willow) to illuminate funny and sad developments in her own marriage, family and health. In so doing, Schwerin not only presents an engaging account of her days--including all-too-brief glimpses of her work with theater people like Jose Quintero and Sam Shepard--but also celebrates the loving and highly idiosyncratic relationship that can evolve between owner and cat. The story of Miss Willow's death after 20-odd years of faithful--though not always tranquil--companionship will leave few eyes dry. (May)
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